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Paralytic Ileus

Paralytic Ileus Causes

Paralytic ileus commonly develops as a consequence of some form of surgery, mostly abdominal surgery. It may also be caused by certain drugs, various injuries, and underlying diseases. Other conditions linked to paralytic ileus include: peritonitis; pancreatitis; and gastrointestinal bleeding, among others.

Paralytic Ileus Definition

Paralytic ileus pertains to temporary intestinal paralysis. The paralysis itself may not necessarily be complete, but is serious enough to prevent the passage of food through the intestines, consequently causing intestinal blockage. Paralytic ileus is also alternatively known as intestinal volvulus, pseudo-obstruction-intestinal, colonic ileus, or quite simply ?ileus?.

Paralytic Ileus Diagnosis

Diagnostic tools used to determine paralytic ileus includes: a stethoscope examination of abdomen; and abdominal x-ray; and an abdominal ultrasound. Typically, listening to the patient's abdomen with a stethoscope will reveal no bowel sounds simply because the bowel is inactive.

Paralytic Ileus Symptoms and Signs

Common signs and symptoms of paralytic ileus include: abdominal pain; abdominal bloating; vomiting; constipation; difficulty or inability to defecate; inability to pass gas; lack of peristalsis; and absence of bowel sounds.

Paralytic Ileus Treatment

Most cases of paralytic ileus will almost invariably require hospitalization. The bowel may have to be emptied using nasogastric (NG) tubes. If the intestines are not effectively decompressed by NG tubes, surgery may be necessitated to remove the obstruction. In addition, maintaining proper nutrition is imperative, with essential food and fluids administered intravenously.

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